SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- "Then Satan entered Judas" in verse 3 probably just means that Satan tempted Judas to betray Jesus, and Judas agreed to do it, thus becoming an instrument of Satan.
- After Judas agrees to help the religious leaders capture Jesus, the disciples and Jesus share an evening together as part of a Jewish religious tradition. The celebration is called the Passover, which gets its name from God bringing the Jews out of Egypt (Exodus 11-12:30). But, instead of offering the traditional Passover food and drink, Jesus provides bread and wine as a representation of his body and blood. He explains to his followers that the breaking and pouring of his body and blood will be for them. And then he asks his followers to remember him by doing the same. At Verve, we call this “communion” and it is offered every time we gather. We do it to remember Jesus and the sacrifice he made for us.
- After the meal, the group follows Jesus to the Mount of Olives, which is a hill on the outskirts of Jerusalem. There Jesus prays earnestly about the coming events. This is a critical moment in Jesus’ journey. He knows what will happen if he follows God’s plan, and he asks God to “take this cup from me.” Then he continues, “Yet not my will, but yours be done.” As Jesus pledges his obedience to God's plan, he is in anguish and prays more earnestly. At that moment Judas showed up with a crowd of armed men who arrested Jesus.
- As the crowd swarms in, Peter acts in defense of Jesus by using a sword. But Jesus halts the escalating violence. In this moment, perhaps Jesus could have escaped, but he wasn't leading a rebellion. So instead, he reiterated his purpose by healing the wounded man.
- In the trials that followed, Jesus asserted that he was the Son of God, and Peter fearfully denies even knowing Jesus.
- Remembering Jesus through communion is a physical action with deep spiritual significance. The next time you take communion, don't forget Jesus said to do it "in remembrance of me." Every time is an opportunity to focus our lives on Jesus.
- We need to follow Jesus' example of telling God "not my will but yours be done."
- In this chapter we see Peter deny Jesus, thus putting his own welfare first and stepping outside of God's will. We also see Jesus putting the welfare of others first, thus staying in God's will. We have the same choice everyday. Where will you face that decision today? When you do, choose to do God's will and put others before yourself. Not only is it the way of Jesus, it will also give you the best life you can live.